End of an era as bid to rescue BHS fails

The BHS store in Blackpool. Photo: The Local Data Company
The BHS store in Blackpool. Photo: The Local Data Company

Scores of jobs are to be lost in Lancashire after the demise of BHS as administrators failed to find a buyer for the retailer.

The business will be wound down and all BHS’s 163 shops will close and be sold off to other retailers.

BHS has a flagship stores in Church Street, Blackpool.

Administrator Duff & Phelps said yesterday that 8,000 permanent jobs are likely to be lost and another 3,000 not directly employed by BHS are also at risk.

The news comes after last-ditch rescue bids from former Mothercare boss Greg Tufnell and Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct failed.

Lancashire multi-millionaire Yousuf Bhailok also expressed an interest in the business, but later pulled out of the bidding.

Duff & Phelps said: “Although multiple offers were received, none were able to complete a deal due to the working capital required to secure the future of 
the company.”

The administrator added that BHS will be in “close-down sale mode” over the coming weeks as it proceeds an “orderly wind-down” of the business.

Philip Duffy, managing director of Duff & Phelps, said: “The British high street is changing and, in these turbulent times for retailers, BHS has fallen as another victim of the seismic shifts we are seeing.

“The tireless work and goodwill of the existing management team and employees of BHS with the support of my team were not enough to change the fortunes of the company.”

BHS fell into administration in April, leaving behind a £571 million pensions black hole and sparking an investigation by MPs into its demise.

Attention will now turn to the role of previous owners, billionaire Sir Philip Green and former bankrupt Dominic Chappell, in the firm’s collapse. MPs are set to quiz both men in the coming weeks.